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Rally for Bradley Manning in Portland

Protesters marched today in Pioneer Courthouse Square to call for the freedom of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of being the WikiLeaks informant.

About 40 protesters gathered around a mock prison cell they built while a man wearing a "naked suit" sat in the cell holding a mask of Manning's face.

"I am Bradley. You are Bradley. We are Bradley Manning!" shouted protesters.

"People [need to] know who he is, what he's done for us, and demand his release," said Linda Wiener of Veterans for Peace.

Manning has spent more than 300 days in solitary confinement. And his lawyer, David Coombs, released an 11-page letter written by Manning less than two weeks ago, prompting activists around the world to protest his unfair treatment and demand due process.

Demonstrators at the Portland rally wore name tags with the words, "Hello My Name is Brad," and handed out pamphlets to passers-by.

"He put his life on the line to show us the truth of war," said Leah Bolger, vice president of Veterans for Peace and a former U.S. Navy commander.  Where's the investigation into the war crimes he showed us?"

Amnesty International is urging US authorities to change the pre-trial conditions of Manning and asking people to send protest letters to President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Other groups besides Veterans for Peace at today's Portland rally included Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink Portland, the Surge Protection Brigade and the Green Party.